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The Power of Data to Stop Waste

Our own James Farrell recently spoke at Low shot of yellow truck wheels and view behindthe Major Infrastructure Resource Optimisation Group (MI-ROG); a group comprising of a range of infrastructure clients with on common purpose: “to avoid wasting valuable resources and to work with supply chains to embed this approach throughout operations”

He wrote about his experience and about this MI-ROG aim in a recent LinkedIn post.

Below is a synopsis of this post…

How can MI-ROG achieve this aim for reducing resource waste?

Foundations for change lie in the creation of a common data environment that embraces open data principles and collects environmental data across the entire infrastructure sector.

What happens now?

It is common practice for clients to have a software or spreadsheet they require contractors to manually input data to. This results in contractors having to reproduce data in various formats for different clients; increasing the likelihood of double handling, human errors and misinterpretation. Not only does this result in information being rendered unusable, but also wastes effort and focus on data collection.

A shift in effort from data collection to data interpreting and use is clearly needed that implements a consistent and collaborative approach.

What is a common data environment?

Simply, it’s a digital location where data is collated in a similar round-table approach that underpins BIM. While BIM is project orientated, a common data environment for the construction/infrastructure industry is needed across the entire sector and supply chain.

What would a common data environment achieve?

1. Data would only be entered, or ideally automatically created, once.

2. Standardised data removes misinterpretation of what is required and creates a strong audit trail.

3. Standardisation facilitates automation, especially for analytics and reporting.

It would ensure focus remains on strategy and implementation.

Is a common data environment possible?

Data is often available and shared within online platforms, yet knowledge of how to take advantage and optimise this data between organisations is not there.

For example, SmartWaste has recorded nearly 1 billion tonnes and 45 million m3 of waste since 2004 over 11,794 projects.

Adoption of one platform, or an agreement of a common data format, for environmental data across industry would allow data to be shared easily between platforms and facilitate the creation of a common data environment.

The need for open data

Anyone under a licence can access, share and use open data, making it an incredibly effective way of driving innovation and removing restrictions from individuals and organisations.

Once a common data environment, embracing open data principles, is created, it would drive innovation and help align the construction/infrastructure industry with the circular economy principles.

A future opportunity to feed waste data to the LOOP platform would drive reuse by clients and drive a market for these materials.

Lets do it

A common data environment across the construction/infrastructure industry would enable resource optimisation across the sector; moving focus from data collection to using that information for achieving a measurable change.

An open data policy would facilitate technical innovation and continuous resource optimisation.